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y “The most important obstacle to the development of Trade Union and labour rights was divisions within the Trade Union movement.” How far do you agree with this statement?

Divisions:
* Industrial Workers of the World
* Immigrants (old v. new) vs. US
* Unions didn’t want to let Af-Ams in- they formed own organisation BSCP * Some welcomed those from other ethnic backgrounds and women * 1935-55 CIO broke from AFL
* Rich/poor fragmentation of workforce
* Lack of women in many unions
* Blue collar v. white collar, skilled v. unskilled, and organised labour v. scab labour * Changing requirements increased tension between campaigners * Lack of solidarity

Other obstacles:
* EMPLOYERS- Homestead, Pullman, laissez-faire policy before Wilson, formation of giant corps, welfare capitalism, yellow dog contracts. Monopolised industries and focused on profit. * A.A civil rights movement was a distraction to fed. Government. * Introduction of new technology was a barrier as fewer workers were needed. * Little governmental help- Taft-Hartley Act ’47, Great Society, Congress rejected ’61 bill for minimum wage, Reagan the union buster and privatiser (Air Traffic Controller’s Strike). * Supreme Court often ruled in favour of employers.

* Striking action didn’t boost reputation as public often supported government action against strikers. The outcome of these events sometimes resulted in bankruptcy so financial ruin was a factor. * Failing economy- depression hindered the campaign. On the other hand times of prosperity (benefits) may have affected progress since workers felt no need to fight but they didn’t have all the rights they deserved- union membership declined.

Conclusion: Employers were the biggest obstacle so the statement is true to some extent but the other factor had a more significant impact on the movement.

To what extent were the 1920s and 1930s the most important period of progress for organised...
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